Guide Stet: An Editors Life

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2 thoughts on “Stet: An Editor’s Life by Diana Athill (2000)”

Stet is spiced with candid insights about the type of people who make brilliant writers and ingenious publishers, and the idiosyncrasies of both. Packed with delights, Stet is about the world of books, about people who write them and the process of making them, a world dissected with sharp an irresistible honesty. It is an invaluable contribution to the world of literature.


  • Stet: An Editor’s Life – Diana Athill (2000).
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  • Stet: An Editor’s Life – Diana Athill (2000).
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  • Stet: An Editor’s Life by Diana Athill () – These Little Words.

Naipaul, Mollie Keane and. Arthur Chester. Naipaul, John Updike and Norman Mailer, among others — was that she allowed the gaps in her story to fill, like frosting layered onto a cake, with fulsome memories of her own cherished dead. Some of the writers she celebrated in her witty, cantankerous style are all but forgotten now. Athill, in a photograph, bore an uncanny resemblance to Cate Blanchett. Athill was and is, not to put too fine a point on it, a knockout in every respect. A generous spirit infuses every page of this book.

Diana Athill should be nominated patron saint of editors. The literarily curious will find [her] portraits of leading contemporary authors irresistible. L, lit: let it stand.

Customer Reviews

An envelope blast of nostalgia: read and marvel at what we are all of us missing. The result is a narrative in which the passing literary stars take second place to an extraordinary guiding intelligence—skeptical, amused, humane. To write well about the profession requires candour, wisdom, clarity, passion, a sense of proportion, and above all a sense of humour, qualities rarely found together.

Fortunately, Diana Athill has them in abundance. Her mind is independent and original and her book a model of good sense. Chapter One Some years ago Tom Powers, an American publisher who is also a writer and historian, kindly told me I ought to write a book about my fifty years in publishing. Partly — as I shall explain — from conditioning, and more — I am pretty sure — because of some kind of mental kink, I cannot remember figures.

When I recall the various houses I have lived in in London I can see the colours of their front doors, the way the steps leading to those doors were worn, what kind of railings guarded their areas; but not one of their numbers can I remember.

My bank account has had the same number for years and years, but I still have to consult my chequebook every time I need to produce i. All the best with the new busy stage in your family life. Like Like.

Celebrated editor and author Diana Athill dies, age 101

Nice to hear about famous figures but I always love the personal side of memoirs so I did miss that a bit. Nonetheless she has a lovely style and it was really nice to read. Thank you for the well wishes, staying cool so far! Hope you are too!

Let it all stand

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  8. Description Diana Athill's Stet is "a beautifully written, hardheaded, and generally insightful look back at the heyday of postwar London publishing by a woman who was at its center for nearly half a century" The Washington Times.